After a month of attention on everything but the Broncos' annual goal, Boise State begins its annual quest to dominate the WAC this week.
The Broncos open WAC play at New Mexico State. They are 3-0 with wins over Virginia Tech, Wyoming and Oregon State, three bowl teams from last year. The Virginia Tech and Oregon State games were two of the most-hyped in school history.
The Broncos have won seven of the past eight WAC titles, including the last two.
"That's a big part of who we are and what we're trying to do around here is compete for the WAC championship," coach Chris Petersen said. "We're finally there. There's been a lot of noise out there-a lot of distractions that don't have to do with the WAC-so we're excited to be focused on something that's important to us."
Boise State has won 17 straight games overall and 16 straight in the WAC.
• Boise State is 5-0 against ranked, BCS-conference teams under coach Chris Petersen.
• The Broncos have won 13 straight true road games and nine straight games away from home.
• QB Kellen Moore was named the WAC Offensive Player of the Week.
Series History: Boise State leads 10-0 (last meeting, 2009, 42-7 Boise State)
Scouting The Offense: The Broncos have piled up 1,117 yards and 88 points in the past two games. The key has been the development of the run game, which produced 275 yards against Wyoming and 175 against Oregon State. The Broncos were able to milk the clock in the fourth quarter against Oregon State by turning the game over to TB Doug Martin and the offensive line. Martin produced 61 yards on the drive, leading to the game-clinching field goal.
Scouting The Defense: The Broncos rank second in the nation in rushing defense (61.7 yards per game), third in total defense (228.7), second in tackles for loss (9.7) and fifth in sacks (3.7). They have allowed 60 points, though, because their special teams have put them in some bad situations. Last week, Oregon State scored 17 of its 24 points off of special teams. The other seven were a gift from the Broncos, who committed a couple of unnecessary personal fouls.
Quote To Note: "I think we'll be explosive. … We've shown signs this year, but penalties can really kind of put you in the mud. They just really bog you down, so we've got to take care of that."-Boise State coach Chris Petersen, on his kick-return teams
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
This Week 'S GAME: Boise State at New Mexico State, Oct. 2-The Broncos have embarrassed the Aggies in recent years. They shut them out in 2007 and 2008 and allowed a single touchdown last year.
Keys To The Game: The Broncos have had some trouble covering kicks this year, and that happens to be one of New Mexico State's few strengths. The Aggies rank 10th in the nation in kickoff returns at 28.2 yards per return.
Players To Watch:
RB Doug Martin-The powerful, physical back has rushed for 326 yards and contributed 80 receiving yards. He averages 6.8 yards per carry.
WR Austin Pettis-He caught a touchdown pass in each of the first 10 games last year. He's 3 for 3 this year. He has four touchdown catches and one touchdown pass.
S Jeron Johnson-He's well on his way to another team lead in tackles. He has 24 tackles this year-eight more than any other Bronco.
• RB D.J. Harper is out for the seasonwith a torn ACL, the same injury he suffered last season. Also in the third game of the season.
• WR Titus Young, who replaced Mitch Burroughs (ankle) as the punt returner last week, muffed a punt. He and WR Chris Potter are competing for the job.